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In Higher Brothers' (海尔兄弟) recent song Gong Xi Fa Cai (恭喜发财), there's a line that says:

恭喜你 恭喜你发财

I'm pretty sure they're pronouncing 你 as nie, and I've never heard it pronounced that way before. Looking through the Wiktionary page for 你, I don't see any dialects, Chengdu included, that pronounce it as anything like nie.

In their other song 你,我 they're pronouncing 你 as ni as I'd expect, though it might be a different singer (can't really tell).

Is this a pronunciation that other people actually use? Or are they just doing it for the musical effect?

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  • Just "musical effect" in my opinion. No real reason to do this except that it's part of a rap. – Stephen Cowley Mar 29 '19 at 4:48
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You've got the right direction searching through Chengdu pronunciations.

The pronunciation here is definitely not nie, but just a Sichuanese pronunciation of 你.

《现代汉语方言音库 • 成都话音档》lists 你 as:

ȵi⁵³

Perhaps is the combination of a /ȵ/ initial with a falling tone on the /i/ that gives it a bit of a "-eh" sound at the end.


The wiktionary page you mention above does hint at this as well:

(Chengdu, SP): nyi3

The yi combo would give you that sound you're hearing there.

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With some Chinese people, even 下雨 sometimes sounds like Xiayue. I have pointed out to those specific Chinese speakers about why they open their mouth when they say “Yu” because once they make their lips wider and open, it’ll start sounding like “e”. They were oblivious to it even after I showed them what I meant, and they kept making that weird “e” sound right at the end like your “nie”. Mind you, this was in Suzhou, and only 2 percent of people I’ve met sound like this. I also heard your case of “nie”. This doesn’t represent every Chinese person’s pronunciation but they might do it like this, especially when they’re just emphasizing that one word or if it’s the last word in the sentence.

I haven’t made it a big deal, because we do this in English too. What is up, what’s up, what up, wazzup, wazzaaaa. Just a variation that depends on the speaker.

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